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The Knells

by The Knells

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1.
Airlift 06:17
AIRLIFT Soulless as a tomb — solace never comes too soon. Every single one, fortune sparing none, heads above water like crustaceans in a bucket climbing up the wall. To try and float above that moment when gravity leaves us with no depth further left to fall. Two dimensional — like the surface of the earth at the bottom. Crack it open, Crack it open like an egg. You can sense an ocean, but you're a ship in a bottle, or a snow globe locked in a desert, or a lighthouse without fog, or a gear without a cog — or your mind is like a dog going around in circles, not knowing whether to lie down, or to chase his tail into the ground. Such small ripples In a large and violent sea of neutrality.
2.
Thread 03:21
THREAD Both time and rivers — they both flow forever. One through vale and memory fractured, the other from the ocean skyward to fall towards the end of all that is.
3.
Fray 04:56
FRAY Hold on to moments — you can pause, grasp, gaze, and linger only to watch as they fall through your fingers like fine sand and silt or water Horizons forever drawn — then forever gone. If only we could choose to make a minute (just a minute) longer for a second or two seconds maybe more, we could suspend our flowing fast while the world goes on and on in eternal threads and frays. All knotted chords and entwining coils of kinetic time — even if only to begin again — in the end must first unwind.
4.
5.
Distance 07:13
DISTANCE Half the distance between us all — Half is all that one can hope to travel. So close, but yet perpetual — Half is all that you can ever hope to go. So close, it may even seem eventual — But half is all that you will ever endeavor to move. Half the distance between us all — Half is all that one can hope to travel. So close, but yet perpetual — Forever fleeting, Like the retreating sheen of brine on sand.
6.
Syncromesh 06:20
SYNCHROMESH Returning ropes of sand to stone, only to dissolve among wheels in wheels of ceaseless spinning motion under listless deserts, and with song, in infinite oceans; then joining over again at the inception of another chronic circle without end, witnessed by a host of rolling suns. From the window of an insect eye, curling far beyond the point of our perception, outside turns itself around within, clouding the specter of a dim deception. Second opportunities are always in supply, take one to double back around and try, it's all the same direction. So it goes — the finish and beginning of all we know — to circle endlessly in spirals all around, crawling, all around.
7.
Seethe 06:51
SEETHE "All in time" — they say it all takes time to leave the trouble you've gone through all behind. But, after it's gone, it goes on to blight and blister. Even now it seethes, waxing pallors of infection, while the scab it rips undone. It's never over — it's never gone. Time dispels the ones who in desperation cling to platitudes they don't see through all in time. All in time? Not so sure.
8.
Dissolve 06:20
DISSOLVE Light decaying and fading, then braiding in resonant ringing echoes. Cold careening through an airless black, and shattering the famished quiet, Illuminating the violence, that only compares with its splendor. Always to dissolve. All our eyes are drawn towards you. Always to dissolve.
9.
Spiral Proem 03:06
10.
SPIRAL KNELLS One after the other — Climb and fall Over and under, On endless conveyor belt ladders, Ringing in a spiral knell, Within a fury of concentric circles. Surely when you're on top, You're on bottom. Or reverse the negative — View it from the other way around. Up on an infinite stairway, Always up, Never down (down is up), Never up (up is down), Always down, In ouroboroic haste — Somewhere going nowhere. Slow circles in search of a flicker, As louder suns Reflect in a hall of mirrors — Open and endless, Nearness too distant, As always and a moment. Everything and nothing In inviolable and splendid disarray. Or ordered in mysterious, symmetrical, And simple kinds of ways. Each a single, certain, prescient Contradiction of a present Furling to unfold. On and off (and off and on), And often never (never often) Just the same. Endings to beginnings to the end, And over and under and over again. All such strong and fragile threads, Whirling in a bid To forget and know.

about

"[The Knells'] lyrics ponder cosmic conditions and cycles — time, space, dissolution, regeneration — and they are sung by three women, often in cascading counterpoint that can invoke Renaissance polyphony or Minimalism. The songs aren't verse-chorus-verse; they sweep ahead, through passages of tolling solo electric guitar, of elegiac vocal melodies and harmonies, of note-bending quasi-Indian strings and guitar, of progressive-rock processionals. The classical training and female harmonies can make the Knells similar to Dirty Projectors, but this band looks toward Europe and tone poems rather than Africa and pop. Instead of hooks there are sustained dramatic arcs, meticulous and serpentine."

—The New York Times

"Finally, an album that Gentle Giant and Sufjan Stevens fans can agree to love: The eponymous debut concept LP by the Knells... mixes its myriad impulses and resources in glorious manner, with three angelic voices floating in harmony over a string-adorned backbeat."

—Time Out New York

"What happens when you mix up a high-octane rock rhythm section with a string quartet and medieval-ish vocal polyphony? The answer is The Knells, a Brooklyn band that won't get much airplay with a new CD that refuses to fit into any station's format. I'm not sure how to label their music, but they call themselves a "post rock, neo-psychedelic chamber prog band." Their debut album is a must for those seeking untamed new musical hybrids."

—The Daily Beast

credits

released November 19, 2013

Nina Berman, soprano
Amanda Gregory, mezzo-soprano
Katya Powder, alto
Paul Orbell, guitar
Andrew McKenna Lee, guitar
Michael McCurdy, drums
Joseph Higgins, bass

with special guests the MIVOS String Quartet:
Olivia De Prato, violin
Joshua Modney, violin
Victor Lowrie, viola
Isabel Castellvi and Mariel Roberts, cello

Recorded, edited, mixed, and produced by Andrew McKenna Lee at Still Sound Audio, Brooklyn, NY

Mastered by Joe Lambert Mastering

Artwork and design by Shepard Fairey

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The Knells New York

photo credit: Scott Friedlander

The Knells are an art rock ensemble from Brooklyn, NY. Drawing inspiration from over 1000 years of western classical music and deftly fusing it with the worlds of progressive, psychedelic, and experimental rock, their music “is a must for those seeking untamed new musical hybrids” (The Daily Beast). ... more

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